Brand Finance logo

Taj: Pillars of Brand Success for a Century-Long Legacy

Brand Finance
12 June 2024

Taj's brand value has increased by 45% to reach USD545 million, now standing as the world's second-fastest hotel brand. This brand value growth is underscored by supercharged revenue growth and an increase in brand strength. With a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 92.9 out of 100, Taj earned an AAA+ rating, the highest rating awarded by Brand Finance, crowning Taj as the world's strongest hotels brand.

Interview with Puneet Chhatwal

Mr. Puneet Chhatwal
Managing Director & CEO,
Indian Hotels Company
Limited (IHCL)

What are Taj’s biggest advantages in ensuring brand success?

Right from the opening of its first hotel The Taj Mahal Palace, in Mumbai in 1903, Taj introduced authentic Indian hospitality to the world. Since then, with a glorious list of firsts, from opening the doors to India’s living grand Palaces and creating landmark tourism destinations like Rajasthan, Goa, Kerala, Andamans and recently North East India, to hoisting the tricolour globally with iconic hotels in UK and the USA, Taj has etched its name in the annals of history and shaped the evolution of the hospitality landscape in India.

As ‘Taj’ now celebrates 120 years, it represents a unique portfolio of Grand Palaces, Iconic City Hotels, Safaris, Spa Resorts and Service Residences with over 110 hotels across 13 countries. With a craft of hospitality that has perfected over a century, fondly referred to as ‘Tajness’, Taj has earned an unmatched reputation with its patrons across the globe.

The affection of our guests and the remarkable passion and commitment of the brand’s 30,000-strong team makes Taj truly a symbol of pride. By offering unique experiences to guests, leading the way in engaging local communities and pioneering new destinations, Taj continues to deliver superior performance and create long term value for all stakeholders.

What role do you think the company can play in terms of sustainability and the climate change challenge?

Staying true to our century-old legacy of leading by example and placing community at the heart of everything we do, we launched the ESG+ framework of Paathya. Anchored to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, Paathya defines short and long-term goals to be fulfilled by 2030.

Working towards the goal of eliminating single-use plastic, 40 of our hotels have installed bottling plants that replace plastic water bottles with reusable glass bottles. We are also committed to using 50% of energy from renewable sources.

Currently, 43 of our hotels have adopted renewable energy and 7 hotels are powered by 100% green energy. Setting a green standard, Taj also recently introduced Innergise Green Meetings, a sustainable solution for corporate meetings and conferencing needs, offering guests a choice to reduce their carbon footprint.

With our commitment to skill building and creating employability for the deserving and marginalized, we aim to impact the livelihood of over 100,000 youth. Our collaboration with UNESCO will see the adoption of 100% of Intangible Cultural Heritage (IHC) projects in the geographies we operate in.

We believe that embedding ESG at the core of our operations will help us navigate through the challenges of today and seize the promising opportunities that lie ahead.

Looking ahead, what future plans and strategies does the brand have in place to further strengthen its brand and continue the impressive growth of its brand value?

India's hospitality market is under-penetrated compared to global majors, with a branded room supply of 0.2 million. India’s vivid landscapes and rich culture and history present significant tourism potential waiting to be unlocked.

Also, with India breaking into the top 5 global economies, travel and tourism are emerging as a major growth engine for the Indian economy.

We are committed to growing and showcasing India’s numerous destinations. This is reflected in our recent signings and openings of new Taj hotels in locations like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Gangtok, Ranthambore and Lakshadweep.

We will also continue to grow the brand in the international markets with a strong Indian diaspora. We recently signed Taj hotels in Bhutan and in Continental Europe at Frankfurt, Germany. Other Taj hotels in the pipeline are Taj Dhaka, in Bangladesh and Taj Riyadh, in the heritage city of Diriyah, Taj in Makkah, Saudi Arabia and Taj Deira Waterfront in Dubai.

Taj’s journey will stay true to its values of responsible and sustainable growth, always keeping our communities, customers and colleagues at the core. This includes adopting green practices in design and construction, developing a sustainable supply chain, promoting local employment and offering a sense of place through bespoke experiences to the travellers.

About the Author

Brand Finance is the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy. Headquartered in the City of London, we are present in over 20 countries.

For almost 30 years we have helped companies and organisations of all types to connect their brands to the bottom line.